Scottish Enterprise: Oil sector prospects remain strong

Montrose field The report identified 86 new fields which were under development, or on which work could begin by 2016

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Prospects for the oil and gas sector in the UK Continental Shelf "remain strong" over the next five years, new analysis has suggested.

A report by Scottish Enterprise pointed to a number of major field developments which were under way or planned.

It said a total of £44bn in capital expenditure was expected to be invested in the sector between 2012 and 2016.

The agency also identified 86 new fields which were under development, or on which work could begin by 2016.

These included the £2.5bn development of the Laggan and Tormore gas/condensation fields in the West of Shetland area.

In addition, major new investments were under way on 12 existing fields, such as Forties and Schiehallion.

Scottish Enterprise's Spends and Trends report 2012-2016 said these developments would in turn "create significant opportunities for new contracts for the supply chain".

David Rennie, director of oil and gas at Scottish Enterprise, said: "We know that the remaining recoverable resources on the UK Continental Shelf should ensure production for decades to come and the high level of activity, as set out in this report, will create significant opportunities for companies in the sector.

"The industry-led Oil and Gas Strategy has already highlighted the importance of the sector for the Scottish economy, and the development of a number of new and existing fields play a key role in this."

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said the report clearly demonstrated the vast potential of the oil and gas sector in Scotland.

He added: "With more than half of the value of the North Sea's oil and gas reserves yet to be extracted, up to 24 billion recoverable barrels with a potential wholesale value of £1.5 trillion, I am sure the sector will remain an enormous economic resource for decades to come."

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